• 24 Hours in Police Custody: The ‘Black Widow’

The popular Channel 4 show, 24 Hours in Police Custody, recently followed the case of Victoria Breeden who tried to have her ex-husband killed.

The 39-year-old manipulated several men, trying to convince them to murder her ex-partner, Rob Parkes, after she lost custody of their child.

During the show, we saw so many red flags for controlling and manipulating behaviour including faking illness and poor health to get her own way and isolating victims from their friends and family. We also saw how she tried to turn other people against her ex by claiming he was a paedophile, which led to her convincing a male friend to burn out Rob Parkes’ car.

Domestic abuse is becoming more prominent in the media and is now featuring in soap story lines, such as EastEnders and Coronation Street, but it’s almost always a female victim. There’s still a lack of coverage around men being victims, despite the fact that 1 in 7 men will experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime.

There’s such an outdated stereotype that abuse can only happen to women. Here at Glow, we’re ready to change that and empower men, like customer George, to find support if they need it.

George* was referred to Glow by Police after reporting abuse by his wife and his partner was arrested. He told us that the gender stereotype of men being strong and able to take on anything is dangerous: “Men have feelings too, we have ups and downs in life like everyone does and we are affected by many things.

“I am a classic example! I knew things were very wrong for years but was too scared to take steps to try and resolve matters.

“I confided in a couple of close friends who were very supportive to me and eventually I realised I needed professional advice.

“Things hurt men too, but we are often too proud to tell others and open up. Taking that step to talk to someone about how you feel, or the circumstances you find yourself in is the best – and strongest – step you can ever take.”

Speaking to Cambridge News about the Victoria Breeden case, Detective Inspector Mike Barnshaw of Cambridgeshire Constabulary said: “Breeden’s behaviour was calculating, targeted, persistent and dangerous. It was motivated by her hatred of Mr Parkes and a jury have convicted her on three counts.

“I hope this shows that Cambridgeshire Police, irrespective of who is involved, will take all matters of domestic abuse seriously.”

Glow offer support for men from all ages and backgrounds. Most of the time, if it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t right. If you need any advice or support, get in touch with our team on 0330 0945 559 or click here. 

The 24 Hours in Police Custody episodes aired on January 4 and 5 on Channel 4, and you can watch them again on demand.

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